How To Reject A Job Offer

November 19, 2011 by staff 

How To Reject A Job Offer, It sounds too good to be true. One highly touted job seeker was hit with a perfect financial services storm: job offers from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Blackrock — all at the same time.

This was the situation facing one client of career coach Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio, a partner at SixFigureStart and former head of staffing for Merrill Lynch Asset Management.

Is it an embarrassment of riches to be presented with such wonderful opportunities in the wake of a global financial crisis? Sure, but this job seeker also had a difficult task on her hands. She had to turn down two of these three giants and do so in a way that protected her relationships and reputation at each.

In an era where very few can afford to burn any bridges, she handled the matter gracefully and honestly.

“In one case, she referred someone else for the position,” said Thanasoulis-Cerrachio. “In both cases, she explained why it was critical for her to accept the offer she did. Respect was felt all the way around.”

Respect is the ultimate goal when declining a job offer, said Ginny Clarke, author of “Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work.”

“No one is taking this stuff personally,” Clarke said. “Don’t lie. If you like another job [more], be honest.”

She suggests contacting the hiring manager quickly and by phone — never in an e-mail — and offer specific reasons why another opportunity is a better fit for you, whether it’s the hours, location or industry trends. In the event that you’re taking another offer because it’s a higher salary, it should be at least $10,000 more per year if you’re going to use money as your official explanation. If it’s within that margin, Clarke suggests emphasizing a secondary reason during the call, such as stability or a clearer promotional path.

Declining a job offer by phone this way is more professional and respectful, and provides an opportunity for an open exchange where you could give helpful feedback to the hiring manager. Then, you could follow up with him by sending your contact information at your new job.

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